Figuring Out What You Can Do with a Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a fully featured computer, and you can do almost anything with it that you can do with a desktop computer.
When you switch it on, it has a text prompt (see Chapter 5), but you can use a graphical windows desktop to start and manage programs. You can use it for browsing the Internet (see Chapter 4), word processing and spreadsheets (see Chapter 6), or for editing photos (see Chapter 7). You can use it for playing back music or video (see Chapter 9), or for playing games. You can use the built-in software to build a website (see Chapter 8). It’s the perfect tool for homework, but it’s also a useful computer for writing letters, managing your accounts, and paying bills online.
The Raspberry Pi is at its best, however, when it’s being used to learn how computers work, and how you can create your own programs or electronics projects using them. It comes with Scratch (see Chapter 10), which enables people of all ages to create their own animations and games, while learning some of the core concepts of computer programming along the way.
It also comes with Python (see Chapter 12), a professional programming language used by YouTube, Google, and Industrial Light & Magic (the special effects gurus for the Star Wars films), among many others.
It has a General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) port on it that you can use to connect up your own circuits to the Raspberry Pi, so you can use your Raspberry Pi to control other devices ...